image

New “Green” Residence Hall Opens


Building 1516, the University of Georgia's first "green" residence hall, opened on Monday, Aug. 9, to more than 500 upperclassmen. The hall offers spacious residential and community areas in a retro-modern design, and incorporates eco-friendly programs into everyday life for a complete "living green" experience.

Although it is near East Campus Village, the traditional style rooms are different from the apartment-style living offered in the neighboring community. The hall is part of the Reed community, and the rooms are set up much like those in Reed Hall, with double and single rooms and private bath accommodations for each room. The hall features nine-month academic contracts, carpeted rooms, loftable twin beds, laundry and kitchen facilities throughout the building, high-speed Internet access, and biometric hand readers for secure resident access.

"We are excited to have a new residence hall that meets demands for housing, addresses the needs and interests of the new generation of environmentally conscientious students, and supports their academic and personal growth," said Gerry Kowalski, University Housing executive director. "We have listened to what is important to students over the years, and we are meeting their needs by providing amenities such as in-room temperature controls and private bathrooms so that they are free to concentrate on other fundamental concerns like academic success and personal achievement."

"It turned out to be more beautiful than anything I imagined," said Kaitlin Pniewski, a graduate student in the College of Education and new resident of Building 1516. "Every aspect of the building, from the catering kitchen to the multi-purpose room, is stylish and functional. I know all the extra 'hang-out' rooms will be put to good use with our residents.
"I cannot believe how many study rooms there are, equipped with dry erase boards, single desks, and large study tables. Residents won't have to trek to the MLC (Miller Learning Center) during finals week," said Pniewski.

Keeping students' interests in mind, the "living green" philosophy is the fundamental concept of the new hall. The university has implemented numerous green elements into the new residence hall and is seeking LEED certification now that construction has been completed and residents have moved in. Promotion of community connectivity, physical activity and pollution reduction help reinforce the "living green" practices of the new building. Students are within walking distance of east campus amenities, such as the Ramsey Student Center for Physical Activities, Joe Frank Harris Dining Commons, University Health Center, and the Performing and Visual Arts Complex. Interior bike storage, as well as easy access to residential parking and bus routes, is provided to promote alternative modes of transportation.

Features that incorporate green technology include in-room temperature controls; high-efficiency sinks, showers and toilets that allow a significant savings per year in water; treated gray water recycled from sinks and showers for use in toilets; low-emitting Volatile Organic Compounds in paint, carpet, coatings, sealants and adhesives that reduce contaminants effecting indoor air quality; and double-paned, low-energy windows that help rooms maintain constant temperatures. Ten percent of the materials used to construct the residence hall are made of recycled content, and another 10 percent originated from within 500 miles of the construction site, reducing air pollutants created from transporting the materials from great distances. The exterior of the building features a cool roof and concrete sidewalks which reflect light and use of drought resistant landscaping and runoff water to replenish underground water sources.

Undergraduate staff members known as resident assistants support residents in programs and other initiatives designed to aid in personal growth and academic success, in addition to programs geared toward sustainability education.

Jonathan Jones, a second-year biochemical engineering student and 2009 Coca-Cola Scholar, is an RA living in the building. "I love the Reed Community's Building 1516 because it represents the steps that the University of Georgia is taking toward a more sustainable way of living for students as well as the surrounding community. Every time I utilize the shower or sink, I think of how I am doing my part to conserve water and prevent waste with the gray-water system."

The Department of University Housing at the University of Georgia provides comfortable, affordable and secure on-campus housing options in residential communities where the academic success and personal growth of residents are encouraged and supported. Approximately 7,400 students live in 21 residence halls within seven residential communities, in addition to graduate students and their families who live in 580 campus units. University Housing is strongly committed to creating and supporting an environment of diversity and offers a variety of learning opportunities to residents, as well as to more than 600 professional, graduate and student staff.

To learn more about University Housing, see www.uga.edu/housing.